At some point in time, we have all experienced various forms of pain. You know, the aftermath of staying poolside in the sun too long or those debilitating cramps that leave you bedridden–stuck in the fetal position. Yes, those pains.
Chronic migraines, stiff joints, toothaches, and sore throats are a few other minor–yet oh-so-painful–health problems that many experience on a day-to-day basis. These pesky ailments can be irritating and problematic, leading many to turn to over-the-counter (OTC) drugs in order to ease their suffering.
But synthetic drugs do have their drawbacks–the warning labels alone are confusing and many people are unaware of what they are actually consuming. OTC drugs can also have many adverse side effects and can lead to substance abuse problems after their prolonged use.
So, what are the alternatives? Well, you may be surprised to learn that there are natural substances that relieve pain, and they could be flourishing right in your very own front lawn! There are a wide variety of plants that can be used to naturally alleviate a number of physical and emotional health problems.
The practice of using plants for medicinal purposes dates back to ancient civilizations. Instinctively, early humans turned to nature to ease a multitude of illnesses.
If you would like an alternative remedy for your minor aches and pains–step outside and try these 5 herbal alternatives!
Yes, those yellow, pesky little “weeds” that sprout up randomly in your yard actually have many healing attributes! When used as an herbal remedy, dandelions can help improve the body’s overall digestive health by relieving constipation and diarrhea. Due to their anti-inflammatory properties, dandelions also relieve pain associated with arthritis and sore muscles.
How to make dandelion oil (for external use):
Fill a small jar with two cups of dandelion flower heads–making sure they are completely dry. Using your favorite unscented oil, fill the jar until the dandelions are completely submerged. Cover with a lid and place in a sunny spot for two weeks. Using a strainer, remove the dandelions from the decoction and you are ready to start rubbing. Massage the oil into your achy muscles and joints for soothing relief. Dandelions are also safe to be consumed raw or boiled in a tea (just make sure they are free from harmful chemicals and/or pesticides).
Lavender is a classic remedy for many common ailments and just the scent alone can reduce stress and relieve tension! Lavender oil is easy to make and can be used on the skin to relieve muscle tension, headaches, sunburns, and minor scrapes.
How to make lavender oil (for external use):
Collect two cups of lavender. Cut about six inches of lavender (stems included) and dry out the lavender thoroughly by wrapping it in cloth. After the lavender is dry, use your hands (or a mortar and pestle) to carefully crush them into small pieces and place them in a jar. Pour your favorite unscented oil into the jar and completely submerge the lavender. Next, you will have to heat the mixture–ideally by leaving it in direct sunlight for 48 hours–however, you can also boil it over the stove. Once this step is complete, you will want to strain the mixture using a cloth napkin or a piece of fabric. Store the lavender oil in a dark container for a longer shelf life.
Echinacea, also called the purple coneflower, is a wonderful immune system booster. For those suffering from congestion, earaches, sore throat, fever, or a stuffy nose, echinacea has the ability to combat cases of flu and common colds. Because echinacea stimulates the immune system, it is able to ward off many infections–such as urinary tract or yeast infections.
How to make echinacea tea:
Pull out your favorite mug and try some echinacea tea! Bring one cup of water to a boil and add in ½ a cup of echinacea (root, leaves, and flower). Cover with a lid and let simmer for 20 minutes. Strain mixture into your mug and add two teaspoons of brown rice syrup–enjoy!
Some people may be familiar with the sweet smell of honeysuckle–but it can do much more than just permeate a delightful scent! Honeysuckle is capable of relieving pains associated with the digestive tract. Honeysuckle works as an anti-inflammatory and can help fight off the common cold, fevers, and sore throats. Honeysuckle is also beneficial for the skin–sunburns, skin rashes, and other blemishes can be soothed with a warm, honeysuckle bath–just add honeysuckle (leaves and all) and soak away!
A truly vibrant flowering plant, chrysanthemums have a wide variety of medicinal uses. Chrysanthemums are known to alleviate pain associated with headaches and eye strains and can even lower high blood pressure.
How to make chrysanthemum tea:
Similar to echinacea tea, you will want to bring one cup of water to a boil. Add five dry chrysanthemum flower heads to the water (you also want to be sure that you are using flowers free from any pesticides or chemicals) and let them simmer for 10 minutes. Strain decoction and add two teaspoons of brown rice syrup to taste.
Warning: Although these plants have many healing qualities, it is recommended that you always seek approval from your health care provider before consuming or using them as an herbal remedy. Those who are pregnant (or believe they could be pregnant), breastfeeding, currently using prescription drugs, or those with underlying medical conditions should always seek a doctor’s approval before use.
Have you tried any of these wonderful natural pain remedies?
Also by Audrey: I Used To Battle Lifelong Eczema. How Plant-Based Diet Healed Me
Related: 15 Best Healing Foods
I Tried It: Acupuncture for Physical and Emotional Healing
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